Dog Sitter Etiquette

31 Jul
Q: I’m using a dog/house sitter for the first time while my husband and I go away for a much-needed long weekend. We’re using a very sweet young couple that walks our girls 3x a week. We’re friendly with the couple, but have used them only a couple of months and we really don’t know them outside their ‘walking’ service. What is the etiquette for having someone stay at the house? We don’t have a spare bed, unfortunately, but we have a very nice Aerobed and a spare room and bathroom. Should we offer up our bed instead? – CR
A: Great question. If you’re asking them to stay overnight at your house, you should offer them a comfortable place to sleep. However, your own bed is a rather intimate place to offer to an acquaintance. Ask if they prefer a firmer or softer bed, and it might open up the conversation to talk of your own bed or the inflatable bed. They may tell you that the inflatable bed is just fine, in which case your worries are over. Some of the newer inflatable beds are quite nice and high off the ground. If you have any reservations about them using your own bed, be sure they know before they take the job that they’ll be sleeping on an inflatable bed. It all depends on your own level of comfort and hospitality. I’ve stayed in homes where the hosts have offered up their bed without hesitation and wouldn’t hear of putting me anywhere else. Talk with the couple and see what you’re all comfortable with.

Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Dog Etiquette


35 responses to “Dog Sitter Etiquette

  1. jorchi

    August 4, 2009 at 3:28 am

    I guess I’ll agree in theory that owners have their own right to decide whether they want you to use their bed. However, in practice, if you are asking a sitter to stay at your home, and then you send them to the couch or to one of those super-uncomfortable inflatable mattresses, then you shouldn’t be sharing your house in the first place, have your dogs stay somewhere else instead.

  2. Bethany

    August 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Every time that I have dog sat for someone, I preferred to stay on an inflatable mattress on the floor because, just as you said, it is very intimate to stay in someone else’s bed.

  3. Mark

    August 4, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I don’t know, I would be ok with staying in someone’s bed dog sitting maybe if it was family, but not strangers.

  4. Any Dog Breed

    August 5, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I personally would rather stay on an air mattress. I would feel obligated to clean the sheets if I stayed on their bed and that’s just too much work if you ask me.

  5. Laurie P.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Hi I am a Professional Pet Sitter and to answer your question; even if it is offered I would never sleep in another persons bed. I usually take the couch or a spare room if available, an inflatable bed is not punishment they are usually more comfortable than a pull out couch and if they own the pet sitting service trust me they have been asked to stay worse places.

  6. German Rottweiler breeders

    August 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Yea, I would see it kind of disrespectful to sleep on someone’s bed…

  7. Michael

    August 20, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I think you should ask yourselves whether it’s neccessary for them to spend the night in your home. I have used a sitter on many occations where they will visit two to three times a day for about 1/2 hour to an hour. They can give medication (if neccessary) take them for a walk and play with your dog. There is a website called where you can find a pet sitter in your location by zip code. I have used this and found a great person. The service provides a picture and background on the person. Some people have provided a background check as well.

    • nigel

      June 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      I agree with your post I am a dog walker and I wont stay at the house because anything might happen its to protect myself I mean I know that dog owners can be a bit protective of there pets but there is no reason why the dog minder cant go in the morning to feed and take out for a walk it in agreement with the owner to how many walks it has

  8. Marcia Anderson

    August 22, 2009 at 12:02 am

    No way, I’d ever sleep in some one elses bed unless it was a family member! Even then most the times I take the couch over the bed. One thing I do though is check with the owner to see if they allow their pet to have some homemade dog treats to help calm their pet down and make a fast friend.

  9. Bill

    August 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I guess everyone has a different opinion. I would go with what you are most comfortable with. In other words if you feel uncomfortable having a dog sitter stay in your bed then you should not allow it. thanks. Bill
    dog shampoo manufacturer at evolution pet supply – shampoo for dogs

  10. kangal

    November 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    thanks very helpful

  11. Pet Directory and Pet Forum

    December 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I would definitely go with what was most comfortable for you

  12. Everything Pet - Pet Supplies

    December 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I would also go with what was most comfortable for me and also for the pet sitters. Talk to them and you will feel more comfortable.

  13. Clint Cora

    January 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I started using dog sitters in 2009 and my sitter first started sleeping on the couch with her sleeping bag. I offered her my bed and bedroom but she prefers to use her own bag. Her last stay involved using a big gym mat I have in a spare bedroom plus her sleeping bag. I always offer her my bedroom in order to make her as comfortable as possible. After all, the more comfortable she is, the better I know my dogs will be cared for.

  14. Jp

    January 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I plan to use this for my site and clients. Great Stuff!

  15. Kelvin

    January 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Interesting and great post! Are you still wondering why your dog is a lot different from those energetic dogs you see in parks? A training might’ve been missing with your dog. Don’t take this privilege away from your dog and visit this site now and start noticing the difference.

  16. Different types of Dogs in the World

    March 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I wonder if they got offers to clean the Doody

  17. Jen

    March 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I’m a professional pet sitter and feel it’s always a little weird to sleep in a client’s bed. In the past this has been my only option and I chose to sleep on the couch instead. I think it’s nice if the client creates a comfy place for the per sitter to sleep if they are asking them to stay over.

  18. Joe Dyer

    April 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    If you are concerned about your private space (and there is nothing wrong with that) you could consider Home Boarding as an option. This is where your dogs stay with a carer in their own homes. This way your dogs get to stay in a nice friendly enviroment NOT a kennel while you are away.This is a service that i provide and it is very popular with owners.

    Take care when looking for this type of service, ideally your dogs should be the only “Guest Dogs” in the household while you are away. A pre trip visit should be arranged to ensure that your dogs get along with the hosts own pets.

    Hope this helps

  19. Dog Warp

    April 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I have been a pet sitter before and I just slept wherever the sitter told me to. It also might be nice for your to leave a few things in the fridge for them to snack on while they are there, but that is not a requirement and they probably won’t touch any of your food unless you tell them that you bought some specifically for them, which might be a nice gesture.

  20. dog flea treatment

    June 15, 2010 at 3:57 am

    I definitely will go there. Thank for the info

  21. KozyDogs

    September 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Good to know, I’ll remember this next time I have someone dog sit for me. Thank You!

  22. Palooza

    September 15, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Making them feel comfortable in your home is the most important thing you can do.

  23. Dog Products in Sydney

    September 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Hey Nice experience you shared here…

  24. Insulated dog house

    October 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Each person is unique, I don’t feel comfortable living in other people’s houses, even if it’s family. I prefer having my own environment

  25. Larry

    November 21, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I’ve had pet sitters stay at my home for 2-10 days. We’ve always offered them our main bedroom and most of them decline and instead stay in a spare room that has another bed in it.

    I realize that some say that a visitor should not stay in a couple’s bed for various reasons, but to me and my wife, it really doesn’t matter if someone sleeps in our bed while we’re away.

    We did take the common sense precautions of securing jewelry and personal items that we want to protect, etc., but overall we’ve had no bad expriences with this.

    That said, all of our sitters were people we knew well – none were strangers.

    Just wanted to add my perspective on this issue.


  26. dogs

    November 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    bed is better

  27. Karen Hull

    December 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Great advise. I tried to get a sitter one time when we could not bring our dog with us on a week long vacation. My husband would not have anyone he did not know to stay at the house. So we had to do the unfortunate instead of the comfort of our home with Buda’s own dog bed and kennel we had to use a boarding kennel. I hated every min of it. I will be planning vacations differently in the future.

  28. Grant

    December 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I would have a hard time trusting people that ive only known for a few months to stay in my house, especially with my belongings so its all up to you i would be sure to lock away anything that is small and valuable so that nothing will be taken. but you may want to invite them to help them self to the food in the house and then offer them a comfortable place to sleep would i let them use my bed?! depends on my level of trust with them. if they were really good friends then yes i would, but if they are just acquittance’s then i would be a little reserved and i would lock my room.

  29. tom

    April 23, 2011 at 6:37 am

    sounds very interesting,I need to learn more

  30. Ria

    May 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    In my opinion, your own bed or your bedroom itself is already a private part of your home, and privacy should only be shared or revealed to people you personally know or close to you. For me, I will not let just an acquaintance or anyone who I just knew for a short period of time to sleep in my own bed! Bu that’s just me… 🙂

  31. PetnVet Finder (@petnvetfinder)

    August 17, 2011 at 2:48 am

    A dog sitter is a person who takes care of our dogs when we are away and always strive to become our pet’s second best friend! Thus, I think they should be given utmost comfort as they will be staying at our homes, taking care of our pets. But that does not mean that they should be given access to our bedrooms, however, that is again based on an individual’s own choice, if he is comfortable giving his bedroom to an outsider. But very importantly, their comfort should be our utmost priority.

  32. Jennifer

    November 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I am a professional pet sitter. I concur with some of the other comments. If the client does not offer a spare bed for me to sleep in I sleep on the couch.

  33. Pet Sitting Austin

    February 8, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I agree with some of the comments here, a personal bedroom is too private, I would rather sleep in an air mattress or sofa. Depending on the dogs being taken care of


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